5/13/11  #621
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What's the matter? Bad luck got you down? Did a black cat run across your path? Did you walk underneath a ladder? Did you step on a crack? Did a bird fly into your house? Did the clock stop? Did a mirror break? Did you spill some salt? Did you walk out a different door then the one you entered? Did you whistle at the dinner table?

Is it Friday the 13th?

Well don't let bad luck get you down...fight back with another weekly dosage of your favorite bad luck breaker...CONSPIRACY JOURNAL! Here once again to bring you all the news and info that THEY don't want you to know.

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such finger-crossing stories as:

- Morgellons: A Hidden Epidemic or Mass Hysteria? -
-
Stargates, Vortex Spots, Portals And Energy Worm Holes You Can Visit-
- UFO Sightings on the Rise in Finland -
- Six Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theories -
AND: Paralyzed by Friday the 13th

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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- MAKES YOUR SKIN CRAWL DEPARTMENT -

Morgellons: A Hidden Epidemic or Mass Hysteria?
By Will Storr

It's a mysterious condition that affects tens of thousands worldwide. But what is it?

It all started in August 2007, on a family holiday in New England. Paul had been watching Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix with his wife and two sons, and he had started to itch. His legs, his arms, his torso – it was everywhere. It must be fleas in the seat, he decided.

But the 55-year-old IT executive from Birmingham has been itching ever since, and the mystery of what is wrong with him has only deepened. When Paul rubbed his fingertips over the pimples that dotted his skin, he felt spines. Weird, alien things, like splinters. Then, in 2008, his wife was soothing his back with surgical spirit when the cotton swab she was using gathered a curious blue-black haze from his skin. Paul went out, bought a £40 microscope and examined the cotton. What were those curling, coloured fibres? He Googled the words: "Fibres. Itch. Sting. Skin." And there was his answer. It must be: all the symptoms fitted. He had a new disease called morgellons. The fibres were the product of mysterious creatures that burrow and breed in the body. As he read on, he had no idea that morgellons would turn out to be the worst kind of answer imaginable.

Morgellons was named in 2001 by an American called Mary Leitao, whose son complained of sores around his mouth and the sensation of "bugs". Examining him with a toy microscope, Leitao found him to be covered in unexplained red, blue, black and white fibres. Since then, workers at her Morgellons Research Foundation say they have been contacted by more than 12,000 affected families. Campaign group the Charles E Holman Foundation states there are sufferers in "every continent except Antarctica". Thousands have written to Congress demanding action. In response, more than 40 senators, including Hillary Clinton, John McCain and a pre-presidential Barack Obama, pressured the Centres For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) to investigate; in 2006, it formed a special taskforce, setting aside $1m to study the condition. Sufferers include folk singer Joni Mitchell, who has complained of "this weird incurable disease that seems like it's from outer space... Fibres in a variety of colours protrude out of my skin: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer – a terrorist disease. It will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year."

So it's new, frightening and profoundly odd. But if you were to seek the view of the medical establishment, you'd find the strangest fact about this disease: morgellons doesn't exist.

I meet Paul in a pub in a Birmingham suburb. He shows me pictures he's collected of his fibres. On his laptop, a grim parade of images flicks past. There are sores, scabs and nasal hairs, each magnified by a factor of 200. In each photo there is a tiny coloured fibre on or in his skin.

"Is it an excrement?" he asks. "A byproduct? A structure they live in?" A waitress passes with a tray of salad as he points to an oozing wound. "Is it a breathing pipe?"

Paul absent-mindedly digs his nails into a lesion just below the hem of his shorts. Little red welts pepper his legs and arms, some dulled to a waxy maroon, others just plasticky-white scar tissue.

He has seen an array of experts – GPs, allergy doctors, infectious diseases clinicians and dermatologists. Most end up agreeing with the skin specialist to whom he first took samples of his fibre-stained cotton: his sores are self-inflicted and he suffers from delusions of parasitosis (DOP), a psychiatric condition in which people falsely believe themselves to be infested. This particular form of DOP is thought to be unique, in that it's spread through the internet. Whereas in the past, episodes of mass hysteria were limited to small communities – perhaps the most famous being the witch panic in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690s – today, imagined symptoms can spread much farther on the web.

Paul is not convinced by this diagnosis. He carries an alcohol hand gel everywhere he goes, has four showers a day and steam-cleans his clothes. The stress leaves him exhausted, short-tempered. He has difficulty concentrating or applying himself at work. His lowest points have been "pretty much feeling like ending it. Thinking, could I go through with it? Probably. It's associated with the times the medical profession have dismissed me. It's just… I can't see myself living for ever with this."

Has he mentioned these thoughts to his doctor?

"No, because talking about things like that adds a mental angle – supports the prognosis of DOP. And it's absolutely a physical condition. I mean, look!"

The evidence on his computer does appear convincing. Much thinner than his body hair, the fibres seem to be protruding from his sores. But what are they? And how did they get there? To find out, I'm heading to the 4th Annual Morgellons Conference in Austin, Texas, to meet a molecular biologist who doesn't believe the medical consensus. Rather, he argues, the forensic tests he's commissioned on the fibres point to something altogether more unworldly.

In spring 2005, Randy Wymore, associate professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University, stumbled across an article about morgellons. Reading about the fibres sufferers believed were the byproduct of some weird parasite, but which were dismissed by dermatologists as humdrum environmental detritus, he thought, "But this should be easy to figure out." He emailed sufferers, requesting samples, then compared them with samples of cotton, nylon, carpets and curtains. Examining them under the microscope, he got a shock. The sufferers' fibres looked utterly different.

Wymore arranged for fibre analysis at the Tulsa police department's forensic laboratory. Moments into his tests, a detective with 28 years' experience of this sort of work murmured, "I don't think I've ever seen anything like this." The morgellons particles didn't match any of the 800 fibres on their database, nor the 85,000 known organic compounds. He heated one fibre to 600C and was astonished to find it didn't burn. By the day's end, Wymore concluded, "There's something real going on here. Something we don't understand at all."

Last year, he approached several commercial laboratories to run further tests, but the moment they discovered the job was related to morgellons, firm after firm backed out. Finally, Wymore found a lab prepared to take the work. It is these results that will be revealed during the course of the two-day conference.

An hour south of Austin, in the lobby of the Westoak Woods Baptist Church convention centre, morgellons sufferers from the US, UK, Spain, Germany and Mexico gather by the breakfast buffet. Threads of conversation rise from the hubbub: "I mix Vaseline with sulphur and cover my entire body"; "The more you try to prove you're not crazy, the more crazy they think you are"; "The whole medical community is part of this. I wouldn't say it's a conspiracy but…"

Many of the attendees have been diagnosed with DOP, a subject that enrages one of the first speakers – Dr Greg Smith, a paediatrician of 28 years' experience. "Excuse me, people!" he says. "This is morally and ethically wrong! So let me make a political statement, boys and girls." He pulls off his jumper, to reveal a T-shirt reading, "DOP" with a red line through it. "No more!" he shouts above wild applause. "No more!"

Later, Smith tells me he's been a sufferer since 2004. "I put a sweatshirt I'd been wearing in the garden over my arm and there was this intense burning, sticking sensation. I thought it was cactus spines. I began picking to get them out, but it wasn't long before it was all over my body." He describes "almost an obsession. You just can't stop picking. You feel the sensation of something that's trying to come out of your skin. You've just got to get in there. And there's this sense of incredible release when you get something out."

Smith's exposed skin is covered in waxy scars. Although he still itches, his lesions appear to have healed. If, as morgellons patients believe, the sores are not self-inflicted but caused by fibre-creating parasites, how is this possible? "I absolutely positively stopped picking," he says.

That evening, at a nearby Mexican restaurant, I meet Margot, a midwife from Ramsgate who has resorted to bathing in bleach to rid herself of morgellons. She describes how, armed with times-three magnification spectacles, a magnifying glass and a nit comb, she scraped "black specks" from her hair and face on to sticky labels and took them to a dermatologist. She was diagnosed with DOP. "I'm a midwife," she says. "I take urine samples and blood specimens. So I was taking them a specimen. That's what wrecked my life and career."

Next, I corner Randy Wymore. He is a slim man with a charcoal shirt, orange tie and neatly squared goatee. "We have not yet exactly replicated the exact results of the forensics people in Tulsa," he admits. So far, the laboratory has found Wymore's various morgellons fibres to be: nylon; cotton; a blond human hair; a fungal fibre; a rodent hair; and down, most likely from geese or ducks.

"That's disappointing," I say.

He leans his head to one side and smiles. "It is, for the most part, disappointing, but there was a bunch of cellulose that didn't make sense on one. And another was unknown." There's a pause. "Well, they said it was a 'big fungal fibre', but they weren't completely convinced."

The next day, nursing practitioner Dr Ginger Savely, who claims to have treated more than 500 morgellons patients, leads an informal discussion in the conference room. Around large circular tables sit the dismissed and the angry. "I've seen a fibre go into my glasses," says one. "I've seen one burrow into a pad," adds another. "One of my doctors thinks it's nanotechnology"; "I was attacked by a swarm of some type of tiny wasps that seemed to inject parts of their bodies under my skin"; "They have bugs on public transport. Never put your suitcase on the floor of a train."

A furious woman with a big scar on her jaw says, "I have Erin Brockovich's lawyer's number in my purse. Don't you think I'm not going to use it."

"But who are you going to sue?" asks a frail, elderly lady two tables away.

The morgellons believers look expectantly at the indignant litigant. "I don't know," she says.

In a far corner, a woman with a round plaster covering a dry, pinkly scrubbed cheek weeps.

I retire to the lobby to await my allotted chat with Savely. I become aware of a commotion at reception. One of the attendees is complaining loudly: "It's disgusting! Bugs! In the bed. I've already been in two rooms…"

When she's gone, I ask the receptionist if, over the weekend, there has been a surge in complaints about cleanliness. "Oh yeah." She leans forward and whispers conspiratorially. "I think it's part of their condition."

Yet, when we speak, Savely is resolute. "These people are not crazy," she insists. "They're good, solid people who have been dealt a bad lot."

A woman approaches the vending machine behind Savely. Between her hand and the handle of her walking stick is a layer of tissue paper.

There is an element of craziness, I suggest.

"OK, there is," she says, "but it's understandable. For people to say you're delusional is very anxiety-provoking. Then they get depressed. Who wouldn't? The next stage is usually an obsessive-compulsive thing – paying attention to the body in great detail. But, again, I feel this is understandable, in the circumstances."

I slip back into the conference room, where Margot is using her £700 Wi-Fi iPad telescope to examine herself. I have an idea.

"Can I have a go?"

Pushing the lens into my palm, I immediately see a fibre. The group around me falls into a hush. "Did you clean your hand?" Margot asks. She fetches an antibacterial wet-wipe. I scrub and try again. I find an even bigger fibre. I wipe for a second time. And find another one. Margot looks up at me with wet, sorry eyes. "Are you worried?" She puts a comforting hand on my arm. "Oh, don't be worried, Will. I'm sure you haven't got it."

Back in London, I find a 2008 paper on morgellons in the journal Dermatologic Therapy that describes patients picking "at their skin continuously in order to 'extract' an organism"; "obsessive cleaning rituals, showering often" and individuals going "to many physicians, such as infectious disease specialists and dermatologists" – all behaviours "consistent with DOP". (For treatment, the authors recommend prescribing a benign antiparasitic ointment to build trust, and supplementing it with an antipsychotic.) After finding "fibres" on my own hand, I'm fairly satisfied morgellons is some 21st-century genre of OCD spread through the internet and the fibres are – as Wymore's labs report – particles of everyday, miscellaneous stuff: cotton, human hair, rat hair and so on.

There is one element of the condition that's been niggling, though. Both Paul and Greg's morgellons began with an explosion of itching. Now it's affecting me: the night after my meeting with Paul, I couldn't sleep for itching. I had two showers before bed and another in the morning. All through the convention, I am tormented; driven to senseless scratching. Why is itch so infectious?

I contact Dr Anne Louise Oaklander, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and perhaps the only neurologist in the world to specialise in itch. I email her describing morgellons, pointing out it's probably some form of DOP. But when we speak, she knows all about morgellons already. "In my experience, morgellons patients are doing the best they can to make sense of symptoms that are real. They're suffering from a chronic itch disorder that's undiagnosed. They have been maltreated by the medical establishment. And you are welcome to quote me on that," she adds.

In 1987, German researchers found itch wasn't simply the weak form of pain it had always been assumed to be. Rather, they concluded itch has its own separate and dedicated network of nerves. And while a pain nerve has a sensory jurisdiction of roughly a millimetre, an itch nerve can pick up disturbances on the skin over three inches away.

Oaklander surmises that itch evolved as a way for humans instinctively to rid themselves of dangerous insects. When a mosquito lands on your arm and it tickles, this sensation is not the straightforward feeling of its legs pushing on your skin. It is, in fact, a neurological alarm system; one that can go wrong for a variety of reasons – shingles, sciatica, spinal cord tumours or lesions, to name a few. In some cases, it can be triggered, suddenly and severely, without anything touching the skin.

This, Oaklander believes, is what is happening to morgellons patients. "That they have insects on them is a very reasonable conclusion because, to them, it feels no different from how it would if there were insects on them. To your brain, it's exactly the same. So you need to look at what's going on with their nerves. Unfortunately, what can happen is a dermatologist fails to find an explanation and jumps to a psychiatric one."

That's not to say there aren't some patients whose problem is psychiatric, she adds. Others still might suffer delusions in addition to their undiagnosed neuropathic illness. Even so, "It's not up to some primary care physician to conclude that a patient has a major psychiatric disorder."

The CDC is due to publish a long-delayed study on the condition and, if it proves Oaklander's theory correct, this would explain a great deal. Why, for example, Greg Smith's lesions stopped developing when he stopped scratching: because they were self-inflicted. Why I found fibres on my hand: because they are picked up from the environment. What's more, if morgellons is not actually a disease but a combination of symptoms that might have all sorts of different maladies as its source, this squares with something Savely said she's "constantly perplexed about… when I find a treatment that helps one person, it doesn't help the next at all. Every patient is a whole new ball game."

I phone Paul and explain the itch-nerve theory.

"I can't see how that relates to the physical condition," he sighs. "I've got marks on my back that I can't even reach. I've not created those by scratching."

I ask how he has been. "Pretty crap, actually. Been forced out of my job. They said it's 'based on my engagement level', and that's down to the lack of energy I've got. I can't sign myself off sick or as having a degraded performance because morgellons is not a diagnosis. There's no legitimate reason for me not to be operating at full speed."

There's a silence.

"Another thing has been destroyed by this disease," he says finally. "And all because morgellons isn't supposed to exist."

• Some names have been changed.

Source: The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/may/07/morgellons-mysterious-illness

- INTERESTING PLACES DEPARTMENT -

Stargates, Vortex Spots, Portals And Energy Worm Holes You Can Visit
By Timothy Green Beckley

Ancient people knew that wherever the earth’s energy gathered into a vortex was a sacred place. They knew – and scientists are beginning to understand once again today – that we are surrounded by a tremendous amount of energy that has been provided for us by the Creator. It’s available for the asking if we could only learn to harness the forces of the universe in a positive way. Some refer to it as the cosmic flow. We could enter Stargates, learning to travel through space and time, and perhaps power our homes and automobiles at a fraction of the cost of what we spend today.

There are certain places you can “feel it in the air” – where the atmosphere prickles with electricity making your hair stand on end. There are certain sacred spots where the earth vibrates at a higher level. These are earth’s vortex regions, its gateways to other dimensions.

Here is a list of some of the spots which are so mystical that thousands visit them annually so as to mingle with other worldly intelligence. Of course, one has to go to these places very gingerly, very carefully, as there are certain “hazards” which might confront the novice along their spiritual journey.

Sedona – Located in the State of Arizona, in the Great South West, Sedona is the Mecca for New Age orientated travelers. Here for several centuries Native Americans have performed shamanistic rituals drawing on the power generated by the red rocks said to have great healing properties. Landmarks such as Bell and Cathedral Rocks are said to be doorways to another dimension. UFOs have been known to dot the sky and strange beings from other realms often materialize and are caught on film. One of the “hot spots” for UFO sightings known as the Bradshaw Ranch has been purchased by the Department of Land Management and is now “off limits” to tourists. Celebrities such as Shirley MacLaine can often be seen strolling the streets of Sedona. There are many art galleries and metaphysical centers to occupy a person’s time when not doing a bit of backpacking.

Bermuda Triangle - Hundreds of planes and ships have mysteriously vanished in this swirling vortex of ocean situated between Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. Flying into the area, veteran pilots have often reported their navigation equipment going wild. Mysterious balls of light have been seen descending and shooting out of the ocean. Christopher Columbus even reported strange aerial displays in the captain’s log. From time to time, mysterious fogs roll in to land from out at sea and individuals report being drawn almost into a hypnotic trance. Though most scientists are skeptical, there are others who believe such an unknown power can be harnessed and used to our advantage. This is a true Stargate – but some who have entered have not returned to tell the tale.

The Great Pyramid – Egypt’s Pyramid of Giza is the largest structure in the world built by man. Archaeologists contend that the Great Pyramid was used as a burial chamber for the pharoahs. They don’t find it a miracle that the blocks of stone weigh many tons each, and it seems impossible even for hundreds of slaves to move them into their proper position. Believers in the Ancient Astronaut theory say the construction of the Great Pyramid might have come about with the help of extraterrestrials. Arcane researchers have presented many other views including a variety of geophysical, astronomical, numerical, and prophetic interpretations made by explorers, authors, and visitors to the Great Pyramid over the last 200+ years. These interpretations run the range of topics such as the Great Pyramid having been used as a sundial, to the calculation of the speed of light, to the prediction of the exact dates of the birth of Adam, the Exodus, and the birth, baptism, and crucifixion of Jesus. It is perhaps the most recognizable vortex on Earth.

Stonehenge - There are various theories as to who actually constructed Stonehenge, a huge circular monolith located on Salisbury Plane in England. Going back many hundreds of years, we know that the Druids used it for their religious ceremonies and that it acts as a huge sundial and calendar. Tourists flock here especially during the equinox to have their vibrations lifted. Some have reported “missing time,” voyages out of the body. A rather new phenomenon associated with the region around Stonehenge is the unexplained appearance of crop circles consisting of mysterious, compelling designs that appear overnight in fields of grain in the same area in the form of circles, intricate geometric symbols and glyphs. (In the UK, they're actually known as “corn circles.”) For a long time one of the best spots to see a UFO was in the nearby town of Warminister, where nightly skywatches were organized.

Mount Shasta – For the more adventuresome who are willing to go out on their own and disappear from society for a while. Lemurians and survivors of other "Lost Civilizations" are said to roam the mountain freely and occasionally wander into town to trade gold for supplies. A strange race of “little people” appear at night to collect edibles and return to their secret cavern homes. Native Americans residing in the backwoods say they have not only heard the screams of Bigfoot, but have seen these hairy creatures close-up! Here, some have claimed to have visited Telos, the capitol of the Inner Earth occupied by the Ascended Masters of Wisdom. There are also accounts of miraculous healings, including those by folks whose eyesight has been regenerated after being struck by mysterious blue beams of light coming from inside the mountain.

Mojave Desert – Stretching for hundreds of square miles, the Mojave Desert is said to draw UFOs like a magnet. Many of the early reports of meeting with human-looking aliens took place in spots like Joshua Tree and at Giant Rock, one of nature’s largest standing rocks where crystal partials are imbedded, increasing the proper cosmic vibrations suitable for contact with other dimensions. Many ghost towns dot the area, left over from when prospectors flocked to the region in a frenzy for gold. There are chilling tales of abandoned mines, mysterious creatures, spook lights and even a haunted Opera House in the middle of Death Valley. One of the most scenic settings in the world, Mother Nature offers all the complements necessary for peaceful trance-like states or for channeling.

Romania’s Hoia-Baciu Forest - There is even a magical forest in Romania. The Hoia-Baciu Forest is, for sure, one of the country’s most famous locales, where a series of inexplicable phenomena have been investigated and analyzed. It is called “the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania.” As one website (juliasromaniaguide.com/hoiabaciuforest/) explains it, “The Hoia-Baciu Forest keeps on being fascinating, especially because of what the witnesses say about the strangest physical sensations, the lights in the middle of the night, the shapes, forms, the strange appearances of human faces, the voices and the different colors. The place has shortly become famous among the paranormal and esoteric events specialists, entire teams of famous scientific explorers from Germany, France, USA and Hungary visiting the Hoia-Baciu Forest even during the Communism and managing to catch some inexplicable phenomena.”

We hope this brief check list will wet your appetite for more information on the subject of natural Stargates and portals to other dimensions. There could be a spot near where you live that can evoke a spiritual or mystical experience. Mountainous regions like those at Brown Mountain, North Carolina and the Andes of Peru can trigger something within you - you just have to go looking for it.

Source: League of Western Fortean Intermediatists
http://forteanswest.com/lowfiguesteditorial-TimBeckley0511.php

- UFOS AROUND THE WORLD DEPARTMENT -

UFO Sightings on the Rise in Finland

UFO sightings are becoming more frequent in Finland. UFO enthusiasts catch glimpses of hundreds of unidentified objects annually, but most of them turn out to have a logical explanation. Ufologists doubt that the armed forces are concealing information about their own sightings.

A typical UFO sighting involves noticing a bright light moving strangely across the sky in the dark. Hardly anything else can be said to describe the phenomenon, says Lasse Ahonen from the UFO-Finland organisation.

Ufology has been Ahonen’s hobby for the last 46 years. A mere photo is not enough proof for him.

“We always need basic information about the pictures. The internet is full of mere images.”

Planets and debris

There have been considerably more UFO sightings in Finland in recent years. The two organisations in this field, Finnish UFO Research Association FUFORA and UFO Finland, yearly receive some three hundred reports of sightings altogether.

An airplane’s lights or a planet might cause strange light phenomena. Sometimes no further explanation is needed than debris in a camera’s lens. Ufologists say that a natural explanation is found for most cases.

However, a few remain unsolved. Some UFO enthusiasts believe that visits from aliens account for some of them.

“At this stage, all options should be kept in mind and kept open,” Ahonen says.

Conspiracy theories

Several countries have lately published formerly classified official data on UFO sightings. Similar data is also collected in Finland, where explanations made by officials are stored in the war archive. Atso Hapaanen has written a book on the military sightings of UFOs in 1933-1979 on the basis of this data.

UFO enthusiasts disagree on whether the military—and especially the air forces—in possession of any newer material.

“I don’t believe that the Air Force has any UFO maps,” says Björn Borg, researcher from FUFORA.

Borg is also sceptical that the Air Force would conceal anything about it. Ahonen’s opinion differs.

“I consider it very likely that there is observational data,” he says. “Would it not be time for the Finnish defence forces to also move on to the 2000s and follow other countries’ example by opening up more about this,” he inquires.

YLE has also turned to the Air Force for answers, but the Air Force said there were no secrets about sightings.

Chief Public Information Official Joni Malkamäki said that the Air Force checks up on citizens’ observations about 2-4 times a year. According to Malkamäki, information usually comes in about strange light phenomena and less frequently about objects.

“These findings usually fall under atmospheric phenomena, such as meteorites and space debris burning in the atmosphere.”

The Air Force says its own pilots have not seen any UFOs.

Soruce: YLE
http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/05/ufo_sightings_on_the_rise_in_finland_2579030.html

- THE GREAT BEYOND DEPARTMENT -

Animals and the Afterlife
By Nick Redfern

An examination of files that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has declassified under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act reveals that, in the Cold War environment of the 1970’s, the DIA spent considerable time researching the nature of, and potential uses of, of extra-sensory perception and psychic phenomena in a wartime setting. Not only that; the DIA was predominantly very troubled by one particularly nightmarish and nagging scenario: that the Soviets would succeed in using ESP as a tool of espionage, and that the secrets of the Pentagon, the CIA and just about everyone else would be blown wide open for psychic-penetration by the KGB and the Kremlin.

Acting on this deep concern, the DIA (along with elements of both the CIA and the U.S. Army) began to seriously address the issue of whether or not the powers of the mind would one day prove to be superior to – or at the very least, the equal of – more conventional and down to earth tools of espionage and warfare. And it was as a direct result of its intensive study of Soviet research into psychic powers for espionage purposes, that the DIA learned of some of the notable and extraordinary advances made by both Russian and Czechoslovakian scientists, whose attention was focused on the links between mental phenomena and the animal-kingdom.

Interestingly, one aspect of this research – detailed in-depth within the pages of a September 1975 document, Soviet and Czechoslovakian Parapsychology Research - reveals the DIA’s findings on this very issue in the former Soviet-Bloc countries.

As evidence of this, the file specifically addresses an intriguing, and grisly, Soviet Naval experiment that reportedly occurred in the mid 1950’s and that, at least a decade and a half later, was still considered to be highly classified in nature by Soviet authorities. Despite the overwhelming secrecy surrounding the event, the DIA was able to glean enough data suggesting that Soviet scientists were involved in research to determine what happens at the moment of death, the nature of death, and the possibility that animals experience some form of after-life.

The report carefully notes: “Dr. Pavel Naumov, conducted animal biocommunication studies between a submerged Soviet Navy submarine and a shore research station: these tests involved a mother rabbit and her newborn litter and occurred around 1956.”

The document continues: “According to Naumov, Soviet scientists placed the baby rabbits aboard the submarine. They kept the mother rabbit in a laboratory on shore where they implanted electrodes (EEG?) in her brain. When the submarine was submerged, assistants killed the rabbits one by one. At each precise moment of death, the mother rabbit’s brain produced detectable and recordable reactions.”

Demonstrating the sheer level of secrecy surrounding this particular affair, the DIA recorded that: “As late as 1970 the precise protocol and results of this test described by Naumov were believed to be classified. Many can be found in Soviet literature with dogs, bears, birds, insects and fish in conjunction with basic psychotronic research. The Pavlov Institute in Moscow may have been involved in animal telepathy until 1970.”

Did the Soviet Navy’s experiments of 1956 stumble upon the incredible secrets of life after death in the animal kingdom? That the mother rabbit’s brain produced, detected, and recorded significant reactions at the precise moment that her offspring were killed is both eye opening and not a little disturbing. One is also prompted to ask: were the results of this experiment indicative of evidence for the existence of some form of soul in the animal-kingdom?

We know nothing more as the Soviets immediately and effectively classified their findings in this area. Why they did so is, perhaps, as much a mystery as are the many and varied controversial issues pertaining to life beyond the confines of the physical body itself.

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2011/05/animals-and-the-afterlife/#more-5199

- IT'S A CONSPIRACY DEPARTMENT -

Six Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theories

Al Qaeda's confirmation of Osama bin Laden's death will likely damp the conspiracy theories that flared up after the announcement of his killing, even without the release of photographs of the terrorist leader's body. A vast majority of Americans agree with President Obama's decision not to release the photos, according to a recent CBS poll, an indication that the public does not require further proof.

But theories continue to burble on fringe blogs and message boards, and given the nature of conspiracy theories, they probably won't ever disappear entirely. In fact, many of the theories are simply updates to ones that have existed since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Daily Beast rounded up some of the most popular theories—and some of the strangest.

William and Kate Tipped on bin Laden Killing

Bin Laden's death bumped the birthers out of the news—it also bumped off the royal wedding. Could there be a connection between the two huge media stories? The Daily Mail thought so, and managed to track down a professor from the University of Buckingham who said he “would not be surprised” if Prince William and Kate Middleton had been forewarned about the top secret raid on bin Laden's compound. After all, the royal couple postponed their honeymoon just before bin Laden's death was announced. The Mail even asked a palace spokesman if there was a connection. He insisted there was none.

Bin Laden Worked for the CIA

Self-styled independent journalist James Corbett called the news of bin Laden's death a “retirement party for an old CIA asset, along the lines of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.” Like the theory that bin Laden has long been dead, it's another story from the 9/11 Truth movement that's been updated for the news of bin Laden's killing: bin Laden was always just a scapegoat for the September 11 attacks, and now that he was no longer useful, the CIA decided to tie up the loose ends. “Whether he actually did die yesterday or he's been dead for years, or whatever the case may be, this is simply discarding a war on terror bogeyman who's no longer scaring the populace,” according to Corbett. Iranian security official Javad Jahangirzadeh took a similar view, saying that bin Laden had been part of an American plot to create a violent image of Islam, and now that his work is done, he's been killed.

One wag suggests bin Laden was part of an American plot to create a violent image of Islam, and now that his work is done, he's been killed.

The CIA faked the new videos

If there was ever a question about whether photographs of bin Laden's body would convince skeptics, look no further than the response to bin Laden's home videos. In a post titled “Hoax,” a writer at libertarian Alex Jones' site, Info Wars, says the videos, which were released “in a desperate effort to bolster its crumbling official narrative,” are a bit too similar to other videos release in 2007 by a “Pentagon front group.” The Pentagon has a history of passing off old bin Laden videos as new and creating its own, the Info Wars blogger writes. Another blogger points out differences in bin Laden’s beard between the new videos and older ones, and wonders whether the videos are “the smoking gun conspiracy theorists have been looking for.” The CIA actually has faked a bin Laden video before, as the Info Wars blogger points out, though it's not one you've ever seen played on the news. The Washington Post reported last year that the CIA made a propaganda video showing a fake bin Laden sitting around a campfire “swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys.”

Osama bin Laden is not dead

Surprisingly, this seems to be the less popular of two main conspiracy theories. For obvious reasons, this version is more popular among the Taliban than in the United States. But even in the U.S., some raised doubts about whether bin Laden had really been killed. Fox Business News host Andrew Napolitano asked guests “whether the government is telling us the truth or pulling a fast one to save Obama’s lousy presidency.” On Facebook, a little over 2,000 people somewhat ambiguously “liked” a page called “Osama bin Laden NOT DEAD.” The posters on the wall seem to mostly think it was a ploy to get Obama reelected.

Osama bin Laden was already dead

A more palatable theory for those who want to believe both that bin Laden is dead and that the U.S. government is perpetrating a vast fraud, this one actually has been around for years. The gist of it is that bin Laden died of kidney failure or was killed by U.S. troops in Tora Bora and that his body has been frozen for a decade, held as a trump card that two different administrations have been waiting to play. Different people give different reasons for why Obama would play the card now, 17 months before the election. Some say to bolster his flagging ratings, others to distract attention from his birth certificate issue. Urging everyone to buy gold, one blogger claims bin Laden's death was faked in order to distract the public while Obama stole everyone's pensions to pay for the national debt. Iran's intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, also saying bin Laden had been dead for years, claimed that the terrorist’s killing was a hoax meant to distract people from an Islamic awakening.

No Women in the Situation Room

While not exactly a conspiracy theory, this at least qualifies as a bit of unexplained intrigue: One Hasidic Jewish newspaper appears to be boldly proposing that no women were with the president and other security chiefs in the Situation Room during the raid on bin Laden’s compound. Most people are familiar with the now-ubiquitous photograph, which rocketed to the top of flikr within days of being released, showing Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and other administration honchos in the Situation Room. Well, the Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper Der Zeitung Photoshopped Hillary Clinton and administration official Audrey Tomason out of the photo. The paper had no comment on its photo, but many conjectured that the picture was doctored either because of editors’ concerns about immodesty or desire not to show women in positions of power.

Josh Dzieza is a reporter at The Newsweek Daily Beast company.

Source: Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailybeast/20110509/ts_dailybeast/13980_6wackiestosamabinladenconspiracytheories_1

- THAT OL' BLACK MAGIC DEPARTMENT -

Allies of Iran's President Accused of Invoking Djinns

Iranian power struggle between president and supreme leader sees arrests and claims of undue influence of chief of staff.

Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds".

The arrests come amid a growing rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei which has prompted several MPs to call for the president to be impeached.

On Sunday, Ahmadinejad returned to his office after an 11-day walkout in an apparent protest over Khamenei's reinstatement of the intelligence minister, who the president had initiallyasked to resign.

Ahmadinejad's unprecedented disobedience prompted harsh criticism from conservatives who warned that he might face the fate of Abdulhassan Banisadr, Iran's first post-revolution president who was impeached and exiled for allegedly attempting to undermine clerical power.

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a hardline cleric close to Khamenei, warned that disobeying the supreme leader – who has the ultimate power in Iran – is equivalent to "apostasy from God".

Ahmadinejad has so far declined to officially back Khamenei's ruling over Heydar Moslehi, the minister at the centre of the row. In the first cabinet meeting since the president returned, Moslehi was absent.

Khamenei's supporters believe that the top-level confrontation stems from the increasing influence of Mashaei, an opponent of greater involvement of clerics in politics, who is being groomed by Ahmadinejad as a possible successor.

But the feud has taken a metaphysical turn following the release of an Iranian documentary alleging the imminent return of the Hidden Imam Mahdi – the revered saviour of Shia Islam, whose reappearance is anticipated by believers in a manner comparable to that with which Christian fundamentalists anticipate the second coming of Jesus.

Conservative clerics, who say that the Mahdi's return cannot be predicted, have accused a "deviant current" within the president's inner circle, including Mashaei, of being responsible for the film.

Ahmadinejad's obsession with the hidden imam is well known. He often refers to him in his speeches and in 2009 said that he had documentary evidence that the US was trying to prevent Mahdi's return.

Since Ahmadinejad's return this week, at least 25 people, who are believed to be close to Mashaei, have been arrested. Among them is Abbas Amirifar, head of the government's cultural committee and some journalists of Mashaei's recently launched newspaper, Haft-e-Sobh.

On Saturday, Mojtaba Zolnour, Khamenei's deputy representative in the powerful Revolutionary Guard, said: "Today Mashaei is the actual president. Mr Ahmadinejad has held on to a decaying rope by relying on Mashaei."

Source: The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/05/ahmadinejad-allies-charged-with-sorcery

- A GOOD DAY TO STAY IN BED DEPARTMENT -

Paralyzed by Friday the 13th

Millions who suffer from Friday the 13th phobia prefer not to tempt fate.

Most Canadians will brave ice pellets hailing from the skies, rush-hour traffic and roads covered in black ice to get to work. But some won't be able to face the thought of leaving their homes on Friday the 13th.

The good news for friggatriskaidekaphobiacs, people with Friday-the-13th phobia, is that there is only one this year. The bad news: it's today.

This day, tied to numerous myths and superstitions, happens at least once a year. But never more than three times a year.

How to see one coming? Look out for months that start on a Sunday. There will be a Friday the 13th 12 days later.

Historians and mythological experts haven't been able to pin down exactly how this fear started.

Anxiety related to the number 13 is evidenced by numerous upper-crust hotels in Vancouver that don't have a 13th floor.

There's no estimate on how many people in Canada suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, but somewhere between 17 million and 21 million Americans are affected by the fear, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina.

"It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million [US] is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do," said Donald Dossey, founder of the institute.

But is there evidence to support and enable the fear?

One 1993 study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that the traffic accident risk increases by as much as 52 per cent on Friday the 13th, compared to a normal Friday.

And other less scientific data shows some eerie findings related to the day.

This includes: the shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996; the Uphaar Cinema fire in Delhi, which killed 59 people and injured 103 who were trapped behind locked doors on Friday, June 13, 1997; and the crash of Uruguayan Air Force flight 571 on Friday, Oct. 13, 1972, which led to the immediate deaths of a quarter of the passengers, plus deaths in the days that followed as survivors succumbed to cold, injury and an avalanche that killed eight.

But fear not, there are ways to ward off bad luck. A practical one would be to have confidence in your own luck, or perhaps to stay positive throughout the day.

Remedies with folklore origins would perhaps suit those with superstitious tendencies. For example, it has been said that luck can be improved on this day if you climb to the top of a mountain or skyscraper, and burn all the socks you own that have any holes.

If you are an omnivorous yogi or gymnast, you can do a headstand while eating a piece of gristle or cartilage.

There are certain activities that also best be avoided: needlework; harvesting; beginning a journey or going out to sea; getting married; moving; or starting a new job.

One that you can no longer avoid, but has been suggested to be part of the list, is hearing or reading about the news.

But for those who can't avoid those activities and can't participate in said remedies, just put on a pair of red underwear. That's how the Chinese, myself included, avoid bad luck.

Source: The Vancouver Sun
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Paralyzed+Friday+13th/4777292/story.html

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